Thursday, September 1, 2016

July 25th: Airventure Begins!

Finally, it was officially Oshkosh time!!!  :)

We grabbed breakfast in the Warbird area, then made our way back to the Forums area.

 We spent part of the morning at Sheet Metal 101, which was a lot of fun. They did a short lecture on some sheet metal basics, then we got to actually play with power tools! Mark and I got to drill, deburr, and rivet stuff, and wound up with a small metal bracket by the end of it (it's sitting on my office desk right now!). Our volunteer instructor had lots of good tips for metalworking, and the whole thing was a lot of fun.

With that tiny bit of experience under my belt, we made our way over to Van's Aircraft...

...where I ordered the tail kit for an RV-10!! This is officially my next giant project; I'm going to build one of these. I've wanted to build a plane for a long time, and after lots of hemming and hawing I finally decided which one best fit my needs. I realized it was now or never, since it's going to take me years to finish. I'd been saving for the kit for months, so it was really exciting to finally buy it. At some point soon I'd wind up with a giant box of metal pieces in my hangar; my job will be to turn that into recognizable parts of an airplane. I've got a LOT to learn, but I'm really looking forward to the experience.

I also got to say hi to Mitch at the Van's booth, too! He is the East Coast demo pilot for Van's, and he flies out of an airport just a short flight away from HWY. Mark and I flew over there a couple months earlier for a demo flight in his RV-10, which was a lot of fun. (If I could have just taken his plane home with me that day, I would have!) It was great to see Mitch again, and he was really happy to hear that I had ordered my kit. I told him he may not be so happy in a few months when I start flooding his email with "How do I do this?!" emails, though he assured me that he'd be more than happy to help.   :)

While I've slowly been accumulating tools for the project, I still needed a lot of stuff. Luckily, Cleaveland Tools had their booth right next to Van's, so I went there next and ordered a full tool kit. With all of my expensive shopping done for the day, we made our way into the rest of the airshow.

The weather was absolutely beautiful! There were lots of arrivals and departures, and all sorts of planes doing flybys (and skywriting).

We wandered through all of the big exhibitor hangars, and some of the smaller booths and displays, too. We wound up in the HondaJet hangar at one point. This is the same exact plane that came to HWY earlier this year...I've actually sat in this one!

We eventually grabbed lunch, grabbed our chairs, and went out to the flightline. It was time for the airshow!

They played the National Anthem while this jumper brought the flag in.

The Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team was fun to watch.

I especially liked their "Student Formation".   :)

A bunch of warbirds flew over in formation


We got to see Kent Pietsch in his Jelly Belly plane, too. He's one of my favorites!

He flies his entire comedy routine with one aileron missing. (It falls off when he cuts off another performer at the start of his routine.)

They had a fun seaplane review, where a bunch of the planes came over from the seaplane base and did flybys.

This Republic Seabee was one of my favorites.

The best seaplane, by far, was the Martin Mars.

This plane is a monster!! It's a water bomber from British Columbia, and is used to fight forest fires.

So of course...

...they did a water drop demo.   :)




It was one of the best parts of the entire show for me. They dropped 7200 gallons of water. It was crazy!

video
Mark got a really good video of the whole thing.


They did a couple more flybys after the water drop before heading back to the seaplane base.

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